Notes on the Notes – May 3, 2015

This week’s scripture readings:

John 15:1-8,  1John 4:16b-21

 This week’s music:

“Many Are the Lightbeams” (VU #588)

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG“Many are the lightbeams from the one light.
Our one light is Jesus.
Many are the lightbeams from the one light;
We are one in Christ.

Many are the branches of the one tree.
Our one tree is Jesus.
Many are the branches of the one tree;
We are one in Christ.

Many are the gifts given, love is all one.
Love’s the gift of Jesus.
Many are the gifts given, love is all one;
We are one in Christ.

Many ways to serve God, the Spirit is one,
Servant spirit of Jesus.
Many ways to serve God, the Spirit is one;
We are one in Christ.

Many are the members, the body is one,
Members all of Jesus.
Many are the members, the body is one;
We are one in Christ.

In 1972, Anders Frostenson, a Swedish pastor and hymn writer, wrote this paraphrase of a passage from “De Unitat ellesiae” by Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (252 A.D.). The English translation is by David Lewis (1983). The tune was written by Swedish composer Olle Widestrand and arrranged by Leonard Lythgoe of Vancouver. This hymn was sung extensively at the Vancouver and Canberra Assemblies of the World Council of Churches. Its message of diversity of gifts used in unity of purpose strikes a healing note in a fractured world.

“Come In, Come In and Sit Down” (VU #395)

“Come in, come in and sit down,
You are a part of the family.
We are lost and we are found,
And we are a part of the family.

You know the reason why you came,
Yet no reason can explain;
So share in the laughter and cry in the pain,
For we are a part of the family.

God is with us in this place,
Like a mother’s warm embrace.
We’re all forgiven by God’s grace,
For we are a part of the family.

There’s life to be shared in the bread and the wine,
We are the branches, Christ is the vine.
This is God’s temple, it’s not yours or mine,
But we are a part of the family.

There’s rest for the weary and health for us all;
There’s a yoke that is easy, and a burden that’s small.
So come in and worship and answer the call,
For we are a part of the family.”

This family song became known to United Church congregations in the arrangement made by Darryl Nixon for Songs for a Gospel People (1987). Singer songwriter James K. Manley, the composer of this hymn, is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA). “Part of the Family” reminds both members and visitors that our congregation is an open, diverse group that welcomes people of all ages, every marital status, and all views, interest levels, and stages in the faith journey.

“Our Song of Fellowship and Faith”

Friends and believers, we gather in faith,
Here in this house of the Lord,
crosshands1Feeling the gift of God’s unfailing grace
As it surrounds us once more
Here in this fellowship love has grown,
Kindness and friendship abound.
Here in this family, we’re never alone,
Help and compassion are found.

Hear us, O Lord, as we sing out Your praise.
In honor and glory our voices we raise.
We will follow and serve You through all of our days,
Sharing Your truth and Your love.

Sisters and brothers come walk in the light,
Joining your hearts and your hands,
Knowing and sharing and living for Christ,
Following all His commands.
Working together, both young and old,
We will be steadfast and strong,
Faithful disciples wherever we go,
Filling the world with our song.”

This week’s anthem was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price in 2010.  It was commissioned by the memorial fund of Brick Presbyterian Church in Perry, New York, in honour of their 175th anniversary celebration in October, 2009.


“Worship the Lord” (VU # 401)

“Worship the Lord (worship the Lord)
Worship the Father, the Spirit, the Son,
Raising our hands (raising our hands)
In devotion to God who is one!

Raising our hands as a sign of rejoicing,
And with our lips our togetherness voicing,
Giving ourselves to a life of creativeness,
Worship and work must be one!

Praying and training that we be a blessing,
And by our handiwork daily confessing:
We are committed to serving humanity,
Worship and work must be one!

Called to be partners with God in creation,
Honouring Christ as the Lord of the nation,
We must be ready for risk and for sacrifice,
Worship and work must be one!

Bringing the bread and the wine to the table,
Asking that we may be led and enabled,
Truly united to build new communities,
Worship and work must be one!

Now in response to the life you are giving,
Help us, O Father, to offer our living,
Seeking a just and a healing society,
Worship and work must be one!

Fred Kaan originally wrote this text in 1972 for a melody from Sri Lanka.  Ron Klusmeier later composed the melody LIDDLE for “Worship the Lord” (1977). His setting was used in Songs for a Gospel People and now in Voices United. The text of the hymn emphasizes that, for the Christian, worship and work are joined together.

“Christ Has No Body Now But Yours” (MV #171)

The words of this hymn were adapted by Stephen C. Warner in 2003 from the original poem by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582).

Christ has no body but yours.
Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.

No hands but yours to heal the wounded world, no hands but yours to soothe all its suffering, no touch but yours to bind the broken hope of the people of God.

No eyes but yours to see as Christ would see, to find the lost, to gaze with compassion; no eyes but yours to glimpse the holy joy of the city of God.

No feet but yours to journey with the poor, to walk this world with mercy and justice. Yours are the steps to build a lasting peace for the children of God.

Through ev’ry gift, give back to those in need; as Christ has blessed, so now be his blessing, with ev’ry gift a benediction be to the people of God.”

Born in Spain, Teresa entered a Carmelite convent when she was eighteen, and later earned a reputation as a mystic, reformer, and writer who experienced divine visions. She founded a convent, and wrote the book The Way of Perfection for her nuns. The music used in More Voices was written in 2006 by Rick Gunn, a United Church musician from Bedford, Nova Scotia.

body of christ

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